Friday, May 30

Brain Enema

[Brain Enema]

I saw Matthew Barney's CREMASTER 3 last night. I want to watch all five of them, first in order of release and then in order of name. Or, maybe, vice versa. I am confounded and bemused. I was entranced and enthralled and disturbed. There will, perhaps, be more comments after I've had a chance to digest it. Whew.

Thursday, May 29

Continuing Education

[Continuing Education]

Over the past few years, I've been a participant in the unofficial Coach Stop Farm City Girl Outreach Project. The farm belongs to Darrell and Conni, and I've been visiting regularly since Keely [D is Keely's dad, and C is her stepmom] took me there a few years back for Thanksgiving.

On the farm there are several percheron, a few riding horses, a flock of sheep, two dogs, a few barn cats. Since my second or third visit I've been helping with chores whenever there: helping to mix the grain, getting straw and hay out of the loft, feeding and watering the animals, leading horses to or from the pasture, mucking stalls, etcetera. I even keep barn boots and clothes there. It really has been my city-escape haven.

This past weekend was particularly exciting.

On Saturday night, I witnessed the breeding of a mare, by their stallion, Crow's Pink Fury. I had honestly been a bit apprehensive about this. Why? Well, first, there's the breeding chute [see this one for miniature horses for the idea] and it took seeing it used to understand how it protects everyone — mare, stallion, breeder — from getting injured in the process. Then, there was the stallion [if anyone ever uses the phrase "hung like a horse" around me, I will disabuse them of their misconceptions]. The breeding was, well, demystified for me. I'm unsure that mare really noticed.

On Sunday afternoon, I actually got away from the farm for a while. Keely and I went to play bingo at VFW post where her maternal grandma, Helen, hangs out. Fascinating. Utterly fascinating. Angie, one of Helen's friends, was able to watch her own twelve cards, and keep an eye on my nine cards [upside down — she was across the table from me] and correct me when I missed something. Angie and Helen each won a game. Neither Keely nor I ever came close.

The most exciting part of the weekend was late Sunday evening. There was one pregnant ewe left. All the others had already given birth weeks ago. I'd never witnessed a birth of anything. We were in the barn, doing chores when it was mentioned that it was about time for the ewe to lamb. We got bales of straw from the loft. Darrell shooed the rest of the flock out of the pen, and put down a thick layer of straw. I stood beside the pen watching and waiting while Darrell, Conni and Sherri [dairy farming neighbor] finished the rest of the chores.

The three of them were behind me, feeding the three new baby horses and their mamas, when the first lamb was born. I excitedly muttered something incomprehensible. Darrell checked on the lamb, and then told me it would be okay to come into the pen.

Over an hour passed waiting for the second lamb. In the interim, the ewe licked the baby clean, and she took her first tentative steps. I helped Conni put iodine on the umbilical cord. The ewe, by smacking the baby on its butt, encouraged her to walk and nurse.

Conni became concerned that the ewe was having difficulty delivering the second lamb. I was petting the ewe while Conni checked her. Conni discovered that the knees of the second lamb were caught behind the ewe's cervix. Conni said she was going to have to move the lamb around. She told me to hold onto the ewe and try to keep her calm. I didn't have time to think about it. I did as I was told, and Conni managed to dislodge the knees and pull the lamb out. Within a half-hour, he was coated with iodine, walking and, with some assistance, nursing.

Wonder. Awe. Life.

Wednesday, May 21

Logos for our Political Landscape

[Logos for our Political Landscape]

The finalists are truly sad in this [yes, unsanctioned] contest to design a logo for the Department of Homeland Security. There are a few notable non-finalists.
  • entry #18 crafted an image that is correct but not politcally so
  • entry # 23 at least tried to make a point
On a related and serious note, If you've not taken the time to research it, you might want to take a look at the financial estimates in Bush's Homeland Security plan. I find it interesting that only $ 700,000,000 out of roughly $ 15,430,000,000 has been alocated to "improve intelligence-gathering and information-sharing." Of course, that's in addition to all of the funding in all of the various other [who can count them?] departments that has already been allocated to intelligence gathering and information-sharing.

Envy | Guilt

[Envy | Guilt]

Jen has been taunting me with photos La Tartaruga, the villa she's rented for summer vacation.
A truly exceptional property, La Tartaruga owes its unusual design and extraordinary setting to its origins as a Saracen tower. Built into the slope of a steep hillside, the circular tower forms the core of a villa that develops over different levels, each one of which offers a spectacular view of the Amalfi coast. The turn-of-the-century restoration preserved the round spaces and converted them into wonderful rooms leading onto terraces or to more conventionally-shaped living areas. At the very top of the property a mosaic swimming pool shares a terrace with a pool house and loungers. A hot tub screened by palm trees is set on a separate terrace just below. One level down is a guest house and below that, the main house, all surrounded by gardens and all benefitting from the glorious view. The interiors are comfortably furnished in a simple, coastal style.
Note the spectacular view from the pool.

I must get over the guilt that inevitably guides me to schedule family visits during my vacations.

Tuesday, May 20

Office Betty's Box

[Office Betty's Box]

I've been having technical issues at work for days now, and the tech guys have been tinkering with my box on-and-off the entire time. I'm not sure when it happened, or which one of them did it, but . . . . a folder on my desktop that was once named sort now you lazy bitch has been renamed don't you love me enough to sort me. Très amusant.

Monday, May 19

Pikachu Confusion

[Pikachu Confusion]

I would appreciate it if someone would explain this to me.

Sunday, May 18

Huna | Aloha

[Huna | Aloha]

I've become more intrigued by my heritage of late. I'd like to take lessons in Hawaiian Language and in Huna, but I doubt there's much to find in Chicago.

I was reading about Huna when I found an article about the aloha spirit that relates to a recent post.
In the Hawaiian language, aloha stands for much more than just "hello" or "goodbye" or "love." Its deeper meaning is "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo)."
Anyway, back to Huna.
there are seven basic principles:
  • the world is what you think it is.
  • there are no limits.
  • energy flows where attention goes.
  • now is the moment of power.
  • to love is to be happy with (someone or something).
  • all power comes from within.
  • effectiveness is the measure of truth.
there are four selves:
  • kane or aumakua is the high self that inspires.
  • lono is the conscious self that imagines.
  • ku is the subconscious self that remembers.
  • kanaloa is the core self that wills.
there are four levels of reality through which one must move in order to understand:
  • everything is objective (scientific reality).
  • everything is subjective (psychic reality).
  • everything is symbolic (shamanic reality).
  • everything is holistic (mystical reality).

Cruel & Unusual Punishment

[Cruel & Unusual Punishment]

The U.S. military is using Metallica and the ‘Barney’ theme song as instruments of coercion in Iraq
NEWSWEEK: May 26 issue -- Adam Piore -- Your parents aren’t the only ones who hate your music -- some Iraqis hate it, too. U.S. military units have been breaking Saddam supporters with long sessions in which they’re forced to listen to heavy-metal and children’s songs. "Trust me, it works," says one U.S. operative.

THE IDEA, says Sgt. Mark Hadsell, is to break a subject’s resistance by annoying that person with what some Iraqis would consider culturally offensive music. The songs that are being played include "Bodies" from the Vin Diesel "XXX" movie soundtrack and Metallica’s "Enter Sandman." "These people haven’t heard heavy metal before," he explains. "They can’t take it." Few people could put up with the sledgehammer riffs of Metallica, and kiddie songs aren’t that much easier, especially when selections include the "Sesame Street" theme and some of purple dinosaur Barney’s crooning.
I don't know about you, but I'd admit to many, many things to avoid having to listen to Barney.

Libertarian Pragmatism

[Libertarian Pragmatism]

It's difficult being an anti-authoritarian libertarian pragmatist.
[More about what I mean by that some other time. For now, I’ll just say that I would approve and endorse controls over my or anyone else’s freedoms 1) when those controls are absolutely necessary, 2) when those controls are not redundant, or when the issues are not already enforcable with other controls that I may or may not already approve of, 3) when the effects of those controls would produce a tangible improvement, 4) when likely betterment outweights possible harm to other parties in the enforcement of said controls, 5) again . . . . some other time.]

Anyway, most of the libertarian types I know skew Republican.
[And, I cannot understand why --- the Republicans are behaving like fascists. Whatever happened to the Republican Personal Freedom and Autonomy stance? Did I just imagine it?]

Many of the anti-authoritarian types I know skew Socialist.
[Socialism is an idyllic concept outside my epistemological construct --- I am unable to believe it could work and find most definitions of socialism to have a contradictory stance on control in general.]

I have few peers. Alas, I shall persevere.

Anyway, I found an amusing anecdote on the Insurgency Chicago website. And, yeah, I realize it’s out-of-date, but it made me smirk, so here it is:
President Bush went to an elementary school to speak to a class of students. The President told them they could ask questions, but first had to raise their hands, stand and identify themselves with their first names.

The first student raised his hand and the President recognized him. The boy said: "My name is Michael and I have three questions. One, do you think this war is a Just war? Two, don't you think the American attack on Hiroshima was a Terrorist Attack? And three, How did you become President when you clearly did not have the majority of the vote?"

Just then, the recess bell rang and all the children went out to play. After Fifteen minutes the children returned to the classroom and resumed their time with the President.

The next student raised his hand and stood and identified himself. "My name is Walter and I have five questions. One, do you think this war is a Just war? Two, don't you think the American attack on Hiroshima was a Terrorist Attack? Three, how did you become President when you clearly did not have the majority of the vote? Four, why did the Recess Bell ring twenty minutes early? and Five, where is Michael?"
Indeed, where is Michael, and where are all of his peers? One certainly would have difficulty finding them in mass media. One would have to troll and dig more consistently and diligently than I am able to find the balanced reporting we've been erroneously led to expect from the media at large.

Saturday, May 17



Someone recently asked me what aloha means when I had said it instead of good bye. I answered with the literal English translation: to share breath.

Aloha, like so many words, does not translate directly, but is contextual. A more encompassing definition can be found in Pukui and Samuel's Hawaiian Dictionary:
Aloha is love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, and charity. Aloha is a greeting, salutation, regards, sweetheart, lover, and a loved one. Aloha is being beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, and lovable. Aloha is to love, be fond of, show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection, venerate, remember with affection, greet and hail.
Aloha is such a marvelous word. It means so much to say that we share breath.



For some time now, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo that will cover the small-but-meaningless tattoo I already have.

The question is, what is right for me? I don't want a word, or a phrase, or some design that I could conceivably see on someone else's ass. In short, I don't want a bigger-but-meaningless tattoo.

I've been looking at traditional tattoos from the peoples of the South Pacific.

If I had the resources, I could go to MOKO Ink in New Zealand. I would, however, opt for contemporary methods. I don't think I'm enough of a cowgirl [or enough of a kamaha`o wahine, for that matter] to handle the bone chisels.

iPAQ Poetry

[iPAQ Poetry]

When I enter text into my iPAQ, it suggests words. If I type av, for example, it suggests average. Partly, this seems to be related to words that I’ve typed before. But, other words are suggested when I am certain I’ve never typed them. They are obviously built-in suggestions. I’ve been curious about what this device is guiding me to say, and I wonder how it’s affecting what I write, skewing my train of thought as I type. So, I decided to allow it to suggest things in alpha order.

aa, ab, ac, ad, ae . . . . zy, zz.

If nothing was suggested, I left it off the list. I’ve changed nothing . . . . let's call it iPAQ Poetry . . . .

about account
advanced aesthetic after again
ahead ain't akron
allow amount anyone approach aquarium
arrived asked atmosphere
average awful

based benefit birthday black books break byrne

carried cellular chicago circumstances class
coffee created current cycle

danger design direct
don't drive during dwellings dying

earth economic education
eerie effect egypt
eight ejected electronic employed enter
episode equal
error established eternal
eugene every experience eyebrows

facts features finally flash
foreign fresh fully

garden general ghost given glass
government green guard gwen

hardly hearing highly horse
hundred hydrogen

iceland ideas ignorant illinois
impression interest ireland
island itself ivory

james jealous johnson judge

language leading lines

management megan
milwaukee mophead
musings myself

national new york night
notice number nylon

oakland observed occupied
odessa often ogden ohio oklahoma city
older omaha
one's operation organs
other overcome owing oxygen ozone

particular peeing plant
present purpose pyramid


raised research ridculousness
round rules ryan

san diego sense simple society
subject system

talked terms there
times toward travel turned twenty types

ubiquitous ukraine
ultimate umbrella
under upper urged useful utterly

valuable version visit
voice vulnerable vying

water weeks window worked wyoming


yahoo yellow yield young yuma

zackary zealand zones zulu

Thursday, May 15

Progress, Fariness, Justice & Due Process

[Progress, Fariness, Justice & Due Process]

Check out Bob Herbert's latest column, Shooting to Kill.
Now, in the dawn of the 21st century, when this nation above all others is supposed to be a model of progress and fairness and justice and due process, the U.S. military was to be given the high sign to start shooting Iraqis like dogs in the street.
[Free subscription required to access article.]

Babbling Meaninglessly

[Babbling Meaninglessly]

Apparently, 46 people can speak in their native tongue, and to every other human, each of them would appear to be babbling meaninglessly.
Alarm raised on world's disappearing languages -- Steve Connor, Science Editor, Independent UK -- 15 May 2003
. . . Linguists estimate that there are 6,809 "living" languages in the world today, but 90 per cent of them are spoken by fewer than 100,000 people, and some languages are even rarer -- 46 are known to have just one native speaker. "There are 357 languages with under 50 speakers. Rare languages are more likely to show evidence of decline than commoner ones," Professor Sutherland said.
Sadly, my own meaningless babble does not qualify as a language. I wallow in a pool of chagrin.

Reaming brought to you by BushCo

[Reaming brought to you by BushCo]

The title says it all.

BushCo Reams Nation Good / No WMDs after all, no excuse for war, too late for anyone to care anymore. Ha-ha, suckers

Comment? "Duh."

Wednesday, May 14

Office Betty

[Office Betty]

I've been working on an internal quarterly review presentation at the office for days now. There are seven main writers, and they're [f*ck me, I should say "we're" but that would make me partly responsible] gleaning that info/text from more sources than I could know. Well, I'm not sure what they're thinking, but it doesn't seem that they're really thinking about work.

Anyway, here are some phrases I've edited out from the contributions of the other six:
  • we are demanding agressive penetration from all team members
  • focus on developing "preferred provider" status with multiple possible partners
  • key metrics illustrate the manner in which shallow penetration has been inefective

Mental Enhancement

[Mental Enhancement]

There could be hope for me yet. It seems a brain prosthesis may soon be available.

Monopoly brought to you by the FCC

[Monopoly brought to you by the FCC]
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission is planning on authorizing sweeping changes to the American news media. The rules change could allow your local TV stations, newspaper, radio stations, and cable provider to all be owned by one company. NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox could have the same corporate parent. The resulting concentration of ownership could be deeply destructive to our democracy.
Also check out Lisa Rein's thoughts on media consolodation.

I have comments, but am too tired to post them. They also require beer to bubble up to the surface. And I have no beer.

Creative Political Maneuvers

[Creative Political Maneuvers]
AUSTIN, Texas --- More than 50 Texas Democrats spent their second day on the lam at a Holiday Inn in Oklahoma on Tuesday, beyond the reach of the law for now, in a standoff with Republicans over the redrawing of the state's congressional districts.
I have no comment.

Monday, May 12

Saturday, May 10

Defining Art

[Defining Art]

The Joker said to Vicki Vale, "I don't know if it's art. But I like it!"

My liking something has nothing to do with whether I believe it's art. For me to consider it art, it must make me think, elicit an emotional response, or, preferably, both.
Recently noticed . . . . . If you didn't explore Michael Onona's site, you should at least look at from solemn promises to broken hearts. [Prints may still be available, should you be looking to purchase a fabulous present for me.]

Reduced Length

[Reduced Length]

Yeah . . . . I am still vibrating with excitement over the movie.

Because of the reduced length of the IMAX version and having to wait a month after the initial release [the rumor is June 6th, but there's still nothing on the IMAX website] to see the larger-but-shorter version, my whether-to-wait decision has been made more difficult. C h o i c e t o o h a r d.

Anyway, it's apparently not possible to avoid the Matrix. Of course, there are the books that have been popping up. There's even an article in the Christian Science Monitor:The Gospel according to Neo. Who knew?

Are you, perhaps, interested in some of the essays that are out there?

Friday, May 9

No Postseason for Michigan

[No Postseason for Michigan]

NCAA orders one-year postseason ban for Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Thursday May 08, 2003 10:10 PM -- Michigan can't play in the next postseason as part of its punishment for the largest financial scandal in the history of college athletics and one of the worst of any kind, the NCAA announced Thursday.
[Keely, if you vent about it now, it'll make it easier for you next spring.]



I purchased shoes today. I could not resist them . . . . They're Steve Madden's Lobo high-heeled white-leather-with-baby-blue-adidas-stripes high-top sneaker boots. They multi-lingually scream TEEN-AGED SLUT. And although it's been some time since I've been teen-aged, and it's fully debatable as to whether I've ever been a slut, I shall wear them. They aren't even on or yet. I bought them at the Michigan Avenue Nordstrom . . . . and I think they're divine. The lucky among you may see them.

But not in this weather.

Thursday, May 8

Epistemological Restructuring

[Epistemological Restructuring]

Yeah, I've been away. I've been, well, I guess I've been . . . . . going through an epistemological restructuring [for restructuring, I prefer the definition: transformation from one representation form to another at the same relative abstraction level, while preserving the subject system's external behaviour (functionality and semantics)] in large part because of one with the temerity to call me on my mercurial nature.

It's also a Red-Letter-Rather-I-Wouldn't-Reflect-Upon-It memory day for me. But, it's not nearly as much of an issue as it had been before. It may be that perceptions change as time passes. Regardless, Thank God / Blessed Be.

Whatever, I'm back.

It's raining tonight, quite violently. I wish there were a view of the lightning from my bed, but there is not. so I'm watching from my kitchen [and, then, of course, still typing]. I find storms comforting. I cannot fathom being frightened by thunder as some are. When it's storming I am reflective. I sometimes want to snuggle. I sometimes want to read. I sometimes just want to watch. It is a beautifully rainy night.

Sunday, May 4

Personal Fundraising

[Personal Fundraising]

Apparently, Michel met her mark, and is getting the boob job. I have no comment.

Disparate Activities

[Disparate Activities]

Yesterday was a busy day.

In the morning, I participated in Bark in the Park, a 5K walk to support the anti-cruelty society. Nope, I don't have a dog, but I went with Keely and her puppy Milo. After the walk, of course, we had to walk another 3.5 miles to Keely's . . . . tough getting a cab with a puppy.

In the early afternoon, I went to the open house of a new flower shop in my neighborhood [Atmospheres on Taylor, just east of Racine]. They've actually been open for a few weeks, and I purchased flowers there on my way home from work. It is refreshing to see a store open in my neighborhood . . . . . closings are so much more common.

In the early evening, I went to a bridal shower for Suzy at Glam to Go where, along with participating in the expected girly bridal shower festivities, I drank too much wine, purchased tchotchkes I do not need, had a massage, and got my makeup glammed up.

Later, I went to a release party for number none | apartment thunder. The album is a fascinating experiment in sound manipulation . . . . alternately haunting, silly, beautiful, dramatic, aggressive. The party itself was fun. I drank sangria. Jeremy and Chris took voice samples for their next project. I had conversations about the gullibility of the masses, Nina Simone, ill-fitting bikinis, war and peacekeeping, the process of restoring and antiquing silver-backed mirrors.

When I returned home, I was too wired to sleep.

All in all, when I awoke deservedly hungover this morning, I reflected upon it as an interesting day.

That was, until I got an email from Zack Webb, who recently, in defiance of "threats of SARS" and "rampant anti-Americanism," decided to go to Vietnam.

I now feel my life is utterly pedestrian.

Zack wrote:
I strolled the crowded streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), cruised on the Saigon River, crawled through the tunnels of Cu Chi, soaked in the hot springs of Binh Chao, walked the beach and rocks at Ho Coc, and spent a day in the Mekong Delta. I saw a naked madwoman running through the rain and traffic, drank snake wine, and lounged in a traditional garden.

Simply stated, old Saigon is a madhouse, a blur of constant overwhelming traffic, blaring horns, exhaust fumes, staring eyes, beggars, and air like hot rancid butter . . . . .

. . . . .The traffic and industry don't fade away in the Vietnamese country side. Every highway and dirt road is crowded with motorbikes, some modified with flatbeds and trailers hauling everything from pigs and ducks to timber, bricks, and mangos. The roads are lined with open front houses, some made from straw, corrugated metal sheets and wood, others of brick or stucco. Every house has a group of people working diligently in the mud and exhaust fumes. They dry rice in the sun, sell mangos, pineapples, t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, and anything they can find. Great tracts of land are covered with neat rows of rubber trees, peanuts, and all manner of tropical fruit. There are water buffalo in the rice paddies, motorbikes on the dikes, and the children work as hard as the adults. . . . .This was no Club Med vacation. It was raw reality, staring into the faces of people who have known little outside of war, poverty, and bone-breaking labor. Much of what I saw was not pleasant, but it served to whet my appetite for the more remote reaches of the world. Now, twenty-eight years after the fall of Saigon, Vietnam is not so fearsome as places like Afghanistan and North Korea, but it is far from the polished comforts of the United States, Japan, Britain or France. It's a small country scratching to make its way in the new millennium, and I'm thrilled to have seen a small part of it.
I am jealous, not of his experience per se, but rather of his drive to have such experiences. He has such an enormous and unflagging lust for life.

Tinfoil hat for your computer


Through a convoluted string of links, I happened across MindGuard which offers "psychotronic mind-control protection" for Amiga and Linux users.

Apparently users of more pedestrian systems cannot be protected:
Many popular operating system platforms -- most notably Windows and Macintosh -- are in fact created by agents of mind control. As such, these platforms tend to include subsystems that not only produce mind control, but also defeat anti-psychotronic software such as MindGuard.
Well, uh, I, well, hmmmmmmmm. I was not aware that my mind was being controlled. I'm wondering . . . . in what manner? And what "agents" have been using my mind?

I promise to use this quite sparingly an excuse for irrational or inappropriate behavior.

On a related note, It is apparently helpful to be protected by the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie regardless of whether one is in front of one's computer.

Friday, May 2

Evolution of the Playing Card

[Evolution of the Playing Card]

Art and mass production are frequently at odds. This deck of cards is stunning. The site is difficult to navigate, but try anyway.

Little Black Books

[Little Black Books]

Having recently purchased an iPAQ, and having only marginally less recently mislaid or damaged a few address books, and having never recovered from losing the PalmV that was stolen a year ago, I put out a request to a few friends about contact information.

I requested, along with the usual data, anything else they'd think I'd like to have in a fully loaded address book

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Vague, I suppose.

The responses? well, some of the responses have been amusing . . . . .

"Don't use the old address. It's filled with pr0n."
I'm assuming this meant email, but, who knows?

"A way to stop the abyss in the apartment from swallowing you."
Hmmmmmm. If I had that, well, I suppose an address book would be a place to store it.

"You should use PIM software like Outlook or Lotus Notes. Did you know that Outlook supports most formats of paper-based planner paper? Great for keeping your information organized. Just write changes in by hand and reprint pages as needed.

Of course, PDA's are getting cheap now. I recommend the Toshiba e730 Pocket PC - or the HP iPAQ (which is very slim, rugged, and ladylike). People who buy Palm OS PDA's are getting ripped off."
I just got the iPAQ. And, now, my choice has been validated. Mark, you are still the answer man. And how can I not be attracted to something slim, rugged, and ladylike?

"bra size: 34D (yowza !!!!!!)"
Perhaps I should start a petition to iPAQ for that to be added as a special field. There would undoubtedly be many others who would find this useful.

"Address books must always be little black books."
For whom? And according to what definition? I don't know if this means that they should be small and black or that they should be . . . . . well, you know.


Thursday, May 1



My friend Paul forwarded a link to another Coco. She makes fun jewelry.

Here's the FACTIÕ Magazine article.
Currently Coco Plumb is available in Chicago at Krista K and Sofia and also carried at Three Sisters in Lake Forest. Nationally Coco Plumb is carried in Boutiques in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Indiana, and Newport, Rhode Island.
I really like the earrings in the middle . . . .